Graduate Programs


PhD in Public Policy

The PhD Program in Public Policy at UMass Boston is a full-time day program for the first two years of study or part-time day program for the first three years. Our commitment to social change is anchored in our interdisciplinary, applied policy curriculum. Students typically complete their coursework and dissertation research in five to seven years.

Application deadline: February 10 for fall admissions.

Global Comparative Public Administration, MPA

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Global Comparative Public Administration is a two-year, 39 credit online-optional program that prepares graduates for public service careers and leadership positions in state, national, and international governments and NGOs. The Global Comparative Public Administration MPA has an applied, practitioner orientation consistent with professional public administration programs.

Application deadline: May 1 for fall admissions.

Master of Public Administration

The Master of Public Administration (formerly the MS in Public Affairs) program is an 18-month, interdisciplinary, professional degree program with evening classes and occasional weekend seminars to accommodate working professionals. The MPA prepares students for careers in public service and enhances the skills of those already employed in the public sector. Graduates of this program will analyze current policy issues and concentrate on topics relating to metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts, and New England.

Application deadline for all tracks of the MPA: April 15 for priority consideration for fall admission; May 1 is the final deadline for all applicants, including international students. Applications received after April 15 will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

As of 2015, there are two new track options in addition to the acclaimed Master of Public Administration program!

Master of Public Administration: Municipal Management Track

The Municipal Management MPA is an 18-month, 36-credit program with evening classes and critical issue-based weekend seminars.

The track’s interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on practical management skills with theoretical foundations, combining core public administration coursework with a new suite of courses tailored to meet the needs of professionals working in municipal public service.

Master of Public Administration: Gender, Leadership, & Public Policy Track

The new Gender, Leadership, & Public Policy track of the MPA program builds on the 45-year success of our award-winning Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy graduate certificate program. This track complements core Public Administration coursework with the unique curriculum of the graduate certificate.

Students in this track will complete the degree over two academic years. During the first year of full-time coursework (15 credits) they will be part of the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy certificate cohort. The second year covers 21 credits of coursework beginning with a summer session in addition to the the fall and spring semesters.

Applicants not admitted to the MPA program will automatically be considered for the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy certificate program.

Graduate Certificate Program in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy

In the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Program, graduates will be prepared to serve at all levels of government, take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, hold elected office, and pursue advanced degrees, most frequently in law and public policy. Students enroll in six evening courses and participate in a 200-hour internship to complete the graduate certificate in nine months.

Application deadline: June 1 for fall admissions, May 1 for international students

Testimonials about our Public Policy PhD Program

Students and alums praise the classes, faculty, and affordability of our doctoral program. Read More 

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